CP Daily: Tuesday October 16, 2018

Published 02:14 on October 17, 2018  /  Last updated at 02:33 on October 17, 2018  /  Newsletter  /  No Comments

A daily summary of our news plus bite-sized updates from around the world.

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TOP STORY

Ontario’s revoked cap-and-trade programme will cost C$3 bln over four years, report finds

Ontario’s cancellation of its cap-and-trade programme will cost the Canadian province C$3 billion over the next four years, the government’s financial watchdog said in a report released Tuesday.

EMEA

UK’s ‘no deal’ carbon tax unrelated to EU ETS though sector coverage unclear

The UK’s carbon tax under a ‘no deal’ Brexit will not be related to the current EU ETS design, the government said Tuesday, confirming that while the levy’s sectoral coverage remains unclear, UK emitters would be unable to use surplus EUAs to comply with it.

EU Market: EUAs reverse from 2-month low despite Brexit concerns

EUAs bounced back sharply on Tuesday after an early plunge to a two-month low below €18, in a volatile market fraught with concerns over Brexit.

AMERICAS

Ontario stakeholders point to large financial, environmental losses from ETS cancellation

Stakeholders have slammed Ontario’s decision to scrap its cap-and-trade programme, adding that the government’s plan unfairly penalises market participants while jeopardising the province’s climate goals.

ASIA PACIFIC

Industry group asks Australia to make quick decision on foreign offsets

To ward off a potential offset shortage, Australia should speed up in deciding whether emitters can use foreign carbon credits to help meet domestic targets, an influential industry group has said.

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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Adapt or die – A group of world leaders led by Ban Ki-moon, Bill Gates, and Kristalina Georgieva today launched the Global Commission on Adaptation, a new initiative to accelerate climate adaptation solutions. The Commission includes 17 convening countries and 28 commissioners from across the globe and every sector of development and industry. “As the impacts of climate change intensify – hotter heatwaves, fiercer fires, bigger storms, rising sea levels and more – and the need to adapt becomes more apparent, there are some good examples of adaptation but not at the scale required. The Commission will elevate the visibility and political importance of climate adaptation to put it at the centre of the development agenda, and encourage bold solutions like smarter investments, new technologies and better planning.”

Wind swoop – Spanish utility Iberdrola’s UK arm Scottish Power has ditched fossil fuels and switched to 100% wind power by selling off its last remaining gas power stations to rival Drax for £702 mln. Included in the sale are four gas power stations, two hydro schemes, and a pumped storage facility. (The Guardian)

Better luck in Bahrain? – The UN’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) meets this week in Bahrain for the first time since the previous round of talks collapsed in July and the board’s executive director resigned amid a row between rich and poor nations. The last board meeting in July reached no agreement on 11 project proposals, worth nearly $1 bln, nor on how to raise a fresh round of contributions from rich countries. Since then, 10 project bids have been added to a packed agenda, and one deferred. If all the project bids are approved, it will take the value of funds committed to $4.6 bln, which may trigger a fundraising drive. Additionally, a proposal presented to the board would appoint a replenishment facilitator to lay the groundwork ahead of a pledging conference in Q3 2019, potentially coinciding with UN chief Antonio Guterres’ planned climate summit in New York. (Climate Home)

South by South Africa – In the fourth article in a series on how key emitters are responding to climate change, Carbon Brief looks at South Africa’s heavy dependence on coal and expanding effort to develop renewables. Other themes covered include South Africa’s climate politics, mining and industry, and its plans for adapting to the impacts of climate change.

Almost there – Beijing authorities have completed 80% of a project that would switch 1.25 million households from coal to electrical heating, China Environment Network reported. The government expects the project will reduce annual coal consumption by 5 million tonnes per year and cut CO2 emissions 13 Mt when completed.

Get your renewables here – The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the NSW and Victoria state governments are putting A$800,000 towards building a Business Renewables Centre, an online marketplace where businesses can purchase renewable energy. The initiative is built on a similar model developed by the Rocky Mountain Institute in the US. The hope is the new centre will sell 1GW of renewable energy in 2022 and 5GW in 2030. The centre will be led by Climate-KIC Australia, WWF Australia, and the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures. (Fairfax)

Bring back the block – The US Department of Justice is again calling for the federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to suspend a landmark youth climate case, even after a lower court judge denied its most recent motions on Monday. The DOJ is preparing for trial in Juliana, et al. v. United States to commence on Oct. 29, but still urged an appellate court on Tuesday to block the case. This came after the DOJ filed another letter on Monday, arguing that Judge Ann Aiken’s order “reinforces the government’s case for a stay of the impending trial”. Monday’s ruling decided that the case could proceed but could not name President Trump as a specific target of the lawsuit. However, Aiken did not bar the youths’ attorneys from renewing a challenge to the President later in the case, depending upon how the evidence develops.

Beat the heat – Heating emissions in California would fall by 7 Mt per year if a third of the state’s buildings switched to clean electric space and water heating technology by 2030, according to a study from Synapse Energy Economics released on Tuesday. The report, commissioned by green group NRDC, showed that using heat pumps and technologies like solar thermal that use the sun to heat water can also save consumers more than $1,500 upon installation and hundreds of dollars on utility bills afterwards. State lawmakers passed SB-100 in August, setting a goal of carbon neutrality in the electricity sector by 2045, and also approved SB-1477 and AB-3232 to help buildings reduce emissions, which are responsible for roughly a quarter of California’s GHGs.

Shoot, the gap – The rift between registered voters of the two major US political parties is becoming increasingly clearer as the Nov. 6 midterm elections draw closer, new Pew Research Polling shows. While 72% of registered voters backing Democrats in next month’s elections view climate change as a “very big” problem, only 11% of Republican supporters feel the same. That 61-point gap is tied for largest among 18 topics Pew asked about in the survey, which also addressed areas like the economy, education, and immigration. (Axios)

Reconvene in 2019 – The US EPA will formally propose its plan to expand 15% ethanol blends (E15) and reform the Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market under the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) by February, agency spokesman John Konkus told S&P Global Platts. The February timeline would give the EPA several months to complete the rulemaking process and issue a final rule by the start of summer driving season on June 1, Konkus said. Some observers have remained sceptical of the long-term impacts of the move, though. (Politico)

Yankee doodle went to NorthStar – The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the operating license transfer of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant from Entergy to NorthStar on Oct. 12. The nuclear power plant was closed in Dec. 2014, and officials said the site could be decontaminated and dismantled by 2021. The plant had been in operation for 42 years.

Lending a hand – The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold a hearing in Portland on Oct. 23 to invite public comments on the US EPA’s proposals to rollback national vehicle fuel economy standards and regulate coal-fired power plants through the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule. The DEQ will then submit the comments to the EPA by the end of their respective deadlines. The EPA’s only public hearing on the ACE Rule, the replacement to the Clean Power Plan, was held in Chicago earlier this month. Separately, US Senate environmental panel ranking member Tom Carper (D) sent a letter to the EPA and Department of Transportation on Tuesday, urging the heads of both agencies to reverse course on their plan “to dramatically weaken future vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas tailpipe standards.”

And finally… Sober St. Patrick’s Days – Climate change could cause the price of beer to skyrocket, according to new research. A study published Monday in the journal Nature Plants found that warming temperatures and droughts could cause yields of barley, a major ingredient in beer, to fall by as much as 17% by 2100. This could lead available supply to decrease by up to 20% in the US, while the price of beer may triple in Ireland. (Climate Nexus)

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